Displaying 1 - 20 of 447

South Korean government announces new plan to improve concessional loan process post-COVID-19

South Korea's Ministry of Economy and Finance (MOEF) announced how its concessional loan process will change post-COVID-19.

Finance Minister Nam-ki Hong stated that in light of global and domestic economic performances in 2020 and global economic outlooks for 2021, South Korea’s concessional loan program, the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) will commit to the following:

  • Diversifying development finance by increasing official development assistance (ODA) budget and fortifying public-private partnerships;
  • Increasing investments in the green and digital sector, increasing the corresponding budget from US$5 million in 2020 to US$8 million in 2021 and US$1.4 billion by 2025;
  • Increasing the concessional loan budget for healthcare up to US$1.0 billion by 2025;
  • Strengthening partnership with multilateral development banks (MDBs) to address the financing gap that partner countries face while increasing co-financing scale with MDBs such as the African Development Bank and the Asian Development Bank;
  • Raising the share of EDCF’s untied assistance which was around 46.4% in the last five years to over 60% by 2025; and
  • Pursuing more effective management of the EDCF.

Concerning the climate crisis, MOEF announced that South Korea will hold the P4G Summit (Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030) in Seoul in May 2021 and continue to cooperate with the Green Climate Fund whose headquarters is located in South Korea.

Press release – Ministry of Economy and Finance

With launch of Northeast Asia Cooperation Initiative for Infectious Disease Control and Public Health, South Korea hopes to strengthen regional health security

South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) organized a working-level meeting for the launch of the 'Northeast Asia Cooperation Initiative for Infectious Disease Control and Public Health' on December 29, 2020, to build a stronger and more effective regional partnership for infectious disease control, including COVID-19, through mutual capacity development.

Proposed by President Jae-in Moon of South Korea at the 75th UN General Assembly in September 2020, this initiative includes the participation of countries in the Northeast Asian region, including South Korea, China, Japan, Mongolia, and Russia, as well as the United States.

South Korea's Foreign Minister Kyung-wha Kang mentioned in her welcoming remarks that she hopes North Korea will also join this initiative soon for the health security of both the Korean peninsula and Northeast Asia as a whole.

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

South Korea commits US$1 million to UNDP Trust Fund supporting Uzbekistan to combat climate crisis

South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced that it will contribute US$1 million to the UN's 'Multi-Partner Human Security Trust Fund for the Aral Sea Region in Uzbekistan' for 2020-2021 to assist those affected by the climate crisis.

This Fund was set up jointly by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the government of Uzbekistan in 2018 to enhance various aspects of human security (including environmental, economic, food, health) by taking a multi-sectoral and people-centered approach to address the impacts of climate change in the region.

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

South Korea commits US$6 million to UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund in 2021

South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced at a UN high-level pledging event on December 8, 2020, that it will contribute US$6 million to the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) in 2021.

CERF serves to provide relief funds to respond to humanitarian crises, including those caused by natural disasters and infectious diseases, taking place around the world.

The Deputy Permanent Representative of South Korea to the UN currently serves as a member of the UN CERF Advisory Group for 2020-2023.

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Korean)

South Korea’s foreign ministry commits to enhancing contribution to global health security in 2021 as new US$830 million ODA budget approved

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of South Korea had its budget request for 2021 approved by the South Korean National Assembly and will be granted a total of KRW950.5 billion (US$830 million) for its official development assistance (ODA) budget. This budget will be used to strengthen global health security in light of the COVID-19 crisis, promote ODA to fight the climate crisis, and implement the government’s main foreign policies including the New Southern Policy Plus and the New Northern Policy.

In terms of global health security, KRW61.7 billion (US$54 million) out of the MOFA’s total ODA has been allocated specifically to implement the 'ODA Korea: Building TRUST' initiative, which supports partner countries with their COVID-19 response. KRW42.8 billion (US$37 million) has been allocated to the Global Disease Eradication Fund, which is the main funding source for South Korea’s contributions to global health initiatives (including Unitaid; Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria).

MOFA will be utilizing its increased humanitarian assistance, which rose from 2020's amount by 23.7% to KRW124.1 billion (US$108 million) in 2021, for the vulnerable groups who have been especially affected by the COVID-19 crisis and disasters.

MOFA will also organize an international conference on global health security in the second half of 2021 focusing on sharing experiences and lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, response to infectious disease through new technology, and global participation in vaccine supply.

South Korea will additionally be holding the second 'Partnering for Green Growth and Global Goals 2030' (P4G) Summit in 2021 for an international discussion on green recovery and climate response.

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Korean)

South Korea contributes additional US$1 million to Unitaid for COVID-19 diagnostic kits

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of South Korea announced that it has contributed an additional US$1 million to Unitaid, a global health initiative, to expand the distribution of COVID-19 diagnostic kits in partner countries, particularly in cooperation with the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).

With this additional funding, South Korea’s total contribution to Unitaid will be US$6 million this year.

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Korean)

South Korea approves 23 development projects worth total US$10 million on green and digital industry

The Ministry of Economy and Finance of South Korea approved 23 development assistance projects worth a total of US$10 million that cover South Korea's Green New Deal and Digital New Deal, as well as infectious disease response, in its partner countries. The funding will be provided from the Korea Green Growth Trust Fund, which is a partnership between the South Korean government and the World Bank.

According to the Financial News, these projects will be implemented in partner countries in Africa, Latin America, and Central and Southeast Asia.

Central and Southeast Asian partner countries are also the target countries of South Korea’s major foreign policies: the New Southern Policy Plus and the New Northern Policy.

South Korea has been actively implementing 'New Deal' projects domestically as well.

News article – Financial News (in Korean)

New president appointed for South Korea’s main development agency

Hyuk-Sang Sohn, a professor from the Graduate School of Public Policy and Civic Engagement of Kyung Hee University, was appointed as the president of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) for the next three years, starting December 1, 2020.

In addition to his career in academia, he has deeply engaged with South Korean civil society organizations on international development cooperation and has served as a civil member of the Committee for International Development Cooperation, which is the highest-level committee on South Korea’s foreign assistance that deliberates and decides major policies and strategies.

News article – Meil Business Newspaper (in Korean)

South Korean officials review progress made on foreign assistance since OECD DAC membership, discuss future steps

High-level officials from the South Korean government came together to review South Korea’s foreign assistance and discuss future steps while commemorating the 10th anniversary of its membership to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC).

The main speakers included the South Korean prime minister, the ministers of finance and foreign affairs, the chair of the National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee, and OECD Secretary-General José Ángel Gurría.

South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun spoke about South Korea’s major achievements, which included doubling the official development assistance (ODA) budget, amending the basic law on international development cooperation, and contributing to the global COVID-19 response.

To this, South Korean Minister of Economy and Finance, Hong Nam-ki, proposed that the country focus on four factors of effectiveness, digital innovation, climate change, and innovative finance in the future.

South Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Kang Kyung-wha, emphasized the need to share South Korea’s development experience more candidly and respond to the partner countries’ needs while leaving no one behind.

Song Young-gil, the chair of the Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee, suggested that South Korea increase the ODA/GNI ratio, expand support for vulnerable groups, and support response to the climate crisis.

South Korea also will create different platforms to discuss the progress made in the last 10 years since the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF-4) was held in Busan, Korea in 2011.

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Korean)

Donor Tracker to host webinar on education in emergencies

Join the Donor Tracker on Tuesday, November 24, 2020, at 15:00-16:00 CET for a webinar addressing education in emergencies, featuring experts from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), a global fund and partnership to improve education in lower-income countries, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Refugee Agency.

The growth of protracted conflicts and the increasing prevalence of emergencies globally have impacted the educational opportunities of millions of children. Precarious humanitarian situations around the world have been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. With just ten years left to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), amid a global pandemic, prioritizing the educational needs of the world’s most vulnerable children is more important than ever.

However, are donors dedicating sufficient attention to education in emergencies? Join the webinar for a discussion on financing needs, donor priorities, and policy trends in the sector.

This webinar complements our recently published report, ‘Decades of neglect: Donor financing for education in emergencies’.

Registration - Zoom

Report - Donor Tracker

South Korea to host second international conference on gender-based violence in conflict

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of South Korea announced that on November 24, 2020, it will host the second international conference on ‘Action with Women and Peace' (AWP), an initiative dedicated to the global discussion on women's and girls' rights, preventing gender-based violence, and peacebuilding.

Held virtually due to COVID-19, this year’s conference has the theme of “ending sexual violence in conflict: ensuring a survivor-centered approach”. The sessions include topics on the COVID-19 crisis and conflict-related sexual violence, the necessary efforts and potential challenges in ensuring a survivor-centered approach, and perspectives from young people. 

The AWP initiative was announced in 2018 with the main goals of implementing international development projects and holding international conferences annually on the topic of gender-based violence in conflict. The first conference was held in 2019 with the theme of “global partnership to combat sexual violence in conflict”.

Event website – Action with Women and Peace

In commemoration of 10th anniversary of OECD DAC membership, South Korea will hold series of events on COVID-19, climate, SDGs, ODA

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of South Korea has organized a series of meetings for the week of November 23-27, 2020, designating it as ‘Development Cooperation Week’ to celebrate the 10th anniversary of South Korea’s membership to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's Development Assistance Committee (OECD DAC).

Seminars, special forums, and a conference will take place throughout the week on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), South Korea’s official development assistance (ODA), the climate crisis, and COVID-19 response. The events are in partnership with the Korea International Cooperation Agency, civil society organizations, international organizations, and academia.

South Korea joined the DAC as the 24th member in 2010.

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Korean)

South Korea invests US$7 million to support survivors of gender-based violence in Timor-Leste with UN

Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the main grant assistance agency of South Korea, announced that it will invest KRW8.1 billion (US$7 million) by 2024 to support survivors of gender-based violence in Timor-Leste. This is part of a project with four UN agencies: UN Women, UN Population Fund (UNFPA), UN Development Programme (UNDP), and International Organization for Migration (IOM).

This project will help provide basic medical and legal services, strengthen women’s policy, and enhance the economic capacity of the survivors. It will also support public outreach and educational programs on gender equality and women’s empowerment. According to their announcement, it is not common for KOICA projects to have more than one international organization as a partner, so this project is a unique case for KOICA of multilateral cooperation between four international organizations to fight for women's rights.

Press release – Korea International Cooperation Agency (in Korean)

South Korean president announces updated policy for stronger partnership with Southeast Asia

South Korean President Moon Jae-in unveiled the New Southern Policy Plus at the 21st Republic of Korea-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit held on November 12, 2020. This policy is an updated version of the New Southern Policy which aimed to build a stronger partnership with the ASEAN member states.

Under the goals of expanding people-to-people exchange, increasing trade, and enhancing trust as a key partner country, the seven core areas of cooperation are as follows:

  • Cooperate on comprehensive health and medicine post-COVID-19;
  • Support human resource development and share South Korea’s education model;
  • Promote mutual cultural exchange;
  • Establish the foundation for mutually beneficial and sustainable trade investment;
  • Support infrastructural development of rural and urban areas;
  • Cooperate on future industries for mutual prosperity; and
  • Cooperate in non-traditional security sectors.

Regarding health, South Korea will not only increase the amount of official development assistance (ODA) on health but will also support the fundamental strengthening of health and medical systems over the long term.

News article – Chosun Biz (in Korean)

South Korea’s National Assembly approves US$13 million increase for foreign ministry’s 2021 humanitarian assistance budget

The Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee of South Korea’s National Assembly approved the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' 2021 budget increase of KRW14.7 billion (US$13 million) for humanitarian assistance.

This was unanimously agreed by both ruling and opposition parties based on the mutual understanding that South Korea’s official development assistance (ODA) should increase to fit its national capacity in spite of domestic economic challenges.

In addition to the humanitarian assistance, the committee also approved KRW3.6 billion (US$3 million) for the New Northern Policy, KRW11.4 billion (US$10 million) for public-private partnerships, and KRW6.0 billion (US$5 million) for stronger diplomacy on climate change, energy, and the environment.

Press release – National Assembly (in Korean)

At OECD DAC meeting, South Korea shares commitments to greener recovery from COVID-19 crisis

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of South Korea attended the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee's (DAC) high-level meeting and shared its three contributions for global environmentally-minded recovery from the COVID-19 crisis:

  • Promote technology and innovation that is resilient and environmentally-friendly to the changing development cooperation landscape amid the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Mobilize private finance and innovative development finance to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs), including action against the climate crisis; and
  • Propose a partnership that values ownership and capacity of partner countries based on the principles of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (GPEDC), the "primary multi-stakeholder vehicle for driving development effectiveness".

South Korea's focus on the environment and climate change is also reflected in its hosting of the P4G Summit next year and its Korean New Deal, a domestic economic strategy centering around digital and green sectors.

South Korea also mentioned that it has so far provided over US$510 million in official development assistance (ODA) against the COVID-19 crisis and that in October 2020 it pledged US$10 million to COVAX AMC (COVID-19 Vaccines Advance Market Commitment) to support vaccine access to lower-income countries.

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Korean)

Spain leads global joint statement to strengthen multilateralism

On November 10, 2020, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez hosted a high-level meeting in Madrid to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the UN. The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, and heads of state and government from Sweden, Canada, South Korea, Costa Rica, South Africa, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Tunisia, Jordan, and Senegal virtually participated in this event. 

This group of donor and partner countries convened to publish the call to action ‘Joint Statement: Reinforcing Multilateralism Together', with the ambition of reinforcing multilateral institutions, advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and taking concrete measures to address global challenges in key areas such as global health, climate change, gender equality, and digitalization.

This initiative will be shared with other countries to actively mobilize the international community around the following goals:

  • Reduce inequality and leave no one behind;
  • Improve conditions for health, health preparedness, and effectiveness of global health systems;
  • Protect our planet;
  • Promote peace, security, and justice;
  • Defend human rights, democracy, and gender equality;
  • Take "advantage of the digital revolution"; and
  • Ensure sustainable financing.

Press release – La Moncloa (in Spanish)

South Korean president emphasizes importance of multilateral cooperation on health and climate change, will contribute US$10 million to COVAX AMC

South Korean President Moon Jae-in delivered a keynote speech at the 2020 Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity, emphasizing the need for stronger multilateral cooperation on health and the climate crisis.

In particular, he stressed the following:

  • South Korea will increase official development assistance (ODA) on health in 2021 to support its partner countries’ COVID-19 responses;
  • South Korea will contribute US$10 million to the COVID-19 Vaccines Advance Market Commitment (COVAX AMC) and strengthen its partnership with the International Vaccine Institute while calling for others to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all people; and
  • South Korea will cooperate with partner countries on smart green industrial complexes (to increase renewable energy production and the number of jobs) and 'smart city' projects, as well as organize the P4G Summit in Seoul in 2021 for global sustainable development.

The Jeju Forum took place on November 5-7, 2020, and it is an annual event to discuss international cooperation for peace, prosperity, and security in East Asia.

Transcript - The Blue House (in Korean)

South Korea provides US$70 million to Ghana and Tanzania to support COVID-19 response

South Korea's Ministry of Economy and Finance (MOEF) announced that it approved an emergency concessional loan of US$70 million for Tanzania and Ghana to help them combat the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

Out of the US$70 million, US$40 million will be provided to Tanzania to increase the capacities of infectious disease diagnosis and management, and US$30 million will be given to Ghana to establish the health sector's response strategy and expand medical facilities.

This fund will be aligned with the African Development Bank Group’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Facility (CRF), which supports its regional member countries' governments and private sectors during the COVID-19 crisis.

Press release – Ministry of Economy and Finance (in Korean)

South Korea contributes US$10 million to COVAX AMC

South Korea announced its plan to donate US$10 million to the COVID-19 Vaccines Advance Market Commitment (COVAX AMC), the financial mechanism designed to provide low-income countries equitable and fair access to COVID-19 vaccines.

South Korea's contribution supports Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance's financial goal to be able to secure one billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines for partner countries by the end of 2021.

South Korea has already announced its plan to secure COVID-19 vaccines for 60% of its population through the COVAX Facility, the global procurement mechanism of COVAX's efforts, organized by the World Health Organization and Gavi.

News article – Relief Web